Guam – Immediately after the legislature voted against the governor’s tax revenue anticipation note (TRAN) bill yesterday (Wed.) afternoon 8 to 6, a very upset Governor Eddie Calvo called into K57’s Four Hour Phill and the Rick Nauta show this morning (Thurs.). In both appearances, the governor slammed senators who voted against the measure calling the whole situation a case of skullduggery and shenanigans.
The Governor spoke harshly about both the Democratic leadership of the legislature and the Republican senators who voted against the bill on the Four Hour Phill.
“Unfortunately, because of politics and because of a bunch of leaders in the Democratic party that are not for the people but are for political intrigue it failed. Unfortunately, Mary voted against it and the Republicans, she has not been very Republican for the people, so Senator Torres was consistent. Senator Espaldon hid behind his cloak of conflicts. I guess Senator Espaldon is filled with conflicts,” said Calvo. “These guys do not want to get tax refunds to the people and I’m surprised at Joe San Augustin. The guy’s a Rev&Tax guy but I guess Joe has two faces and he’s a guy that you just can’t trust.”
It was Speaker B.J. Cruz who took the brunt of the governor’s wrath.
“He’s the same one that won’t have a hearing for my bill on the hospital and as we see what is happening in our hospital. I pray the day [never comes] that B.J. ever has to go to the hospital, we’re short on medicine.”
The governor called into the Rick Nauta show on K57 this morning(Thurs.) to clarify what he meant by this statement.
“I wanna be very clear here. I hope you don’t get sick. I hope you don’t get hurt but if you ever do go to that hospital the Guam Memorial Hospital, Speaker Cruz, I sure hope they do have the—not don’t, I sure hope they do have the medicine because I’m a catholic. I may not agree with your politics. I may have disdain for some of this maneuvering that has been going on for years but I still love you as a human being and as a Christian. So that is what I said yesterday. Not, I don’t want no medicine,” explained Governor Calvo.
The TRAN bill has been at the center of a deadlocked debate between the legislative and executive branches over the number of votes required to pass a bill. The governor took the matter to the Supreme Court of Guam which opined in his favor but fell short of mandating the legislature to transmit the bill to the governor for his signature. So, the legislature refused to send the measure to Adelup. The governor again took the matter to the Supreme Court of Guam with the hopes it would mandate the legislature to transmit the bill. Then yesterday afternoon, the legislature revisited the measure recording 8 votes against it—drawing the ire and anger of the governor.
Governor Calvo continued to speak about his disappointment with the legislature not only on this TRAN measure but on other measures. He told Nauta that the legislature is playing politics something he says he’s looking to leave behind during in his last year in office. He pointed to two bills he introduced for the hospital one that would raise business privilege or gross receipts taxes and the other that would repeal tax exemptions given to the wholesale and insurance industries.
“They wouldn’t have heard my first bill which would’ve affected the retail industry such as a Payless, but I had to introduce a second bill that may impact a Pepsi or a Midpac or a Calvo’s Insurance when it comes to exemptions on wholesale or insurance. If I was so political and so much into special interests why would I do that? Other than I just believe it’s in the best interest of the people that we fund the hospital,” said Governor Calvo. “I’m putting my job on the line and I’m leaving. I’m even putting up some of the businesses that would be impacted that I’m gonna go back to in a year because I love this island.”
Ultimately the governor does not believe the legislature’s vote will affect the current case in court. The governor says he will still fight for the tax refunds until his last day in office.